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The 4 building blocks of alliance alignment

Alignment is essential in strategic alliances as it focuses the efforts of stakeholders on important goals.

For this reason, most alliance managers spend a significant amount of their time and effort on fostering alignment. Yet surveys show that many alliances suffer from poor alignment either amongst internal stakeholders, externally with partners, or both.

Effective alliance management teams drive the success of their alliances by fostering strong internal and external alignment. They do this through insights that enable stakeholders to clearly understand, evolve and execute on goals.

We believe there are 4 fundamental building blocks of successful alliance alignment.

1. Strategy and goals

Alignment is not a fixed outcome, it’s an element that is continually changing. The best way to ensure continual alignment between all partners is not to have a fixed 1-time process, but to have a fluid strategy that is designed to capture changes, with processes in place to ensure that these changes are a catalyst to adapting alignment simultaneously.

It is possible to have great processes in place, but these should ideally be automated to ensure full capture and instant action.

It is the timely response that will ensure alignment continues and both partners stay on -track to achieve their goals.

2. Culture and trust

It isn’t impossible to partner with an organization that does not share your culture, but it is important that if you don’t align, that both partners set out very specific expectations and agree ahead of project commencement. Trust is an important component of an alignment strategy and an intangible force built up through dedicated communication, goodwill and transparent actions. There are 5 core areas where a dedicated alliance management platform such as allianceboard can support an alliance manager to align with their partner, deliver their objectives and reinforce the trust they need to build: planning, governance, stakeholder engagement, security and reporting. You can read more about this here: 5 ways digital alliance management reinforces trust in a partnership.

3. Data, information & knowledge

The ongoing management of an alliance requires alignment of data, shared information and knowledge pertinent to the specific alliance or initiative.

Reporting and regular monitoring of key performance metrics and long-term alliance health allows alliance managers and stakeholders to quickly identify areas of success, problems to address and trends that can be used to support future decision-making and strategy setting.

A digitized approach to data, information and knowledge will ensure that the alliance management function and all the stakeholders involved can report on and maintain granular insights for all facets of the alliance, instantly.

Accurate, dependable data, available on request and in real-time offers transparency in the partnership that further reinforces trust between all parties.

4. Resources, practices, and processes

An alliance professional faces a 2-sided alignment challenge. Not only are they required to align with, and continually strategize with partners, to ensure goals are met on time and on target, but many times, these same people are also tasked with aligning internal teams that may not ordinarily work together.

This dynamic is further complicated when there is more than 1 partner involved in the alliance and when multiple stakeholders from each organization are required to be aligned for the success of the alliance.

Ensuring that resources crucial to the alliance are available to everyone involved and that all stakeholders are trained and encouraged to follow the same processes and practices is another way to align the flow of the alliance and ensure that goals, milestones and ultimately the entire alliance, is and continues to be a success.

Today’s most successful organizations use technology to evolve their alliance management practices and automate their strategic alignment. Contact us today to speak with one of our senior alliance management experts about digitizing your alliance management:

The 4 building blocks of alliance alignment
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